California POLST Form Updated

On April 1 of this year, the Coalition for Compassionate Care of California announced that the California version of the POLST (Physician Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment) form has been updated. Updates include a change to the color of paper the form is to be printed on (now Ultra Pink) and changes to some of the language on the form.

More Information:

A description of the changes
The California POLST form
CCCC webinar on the POLST changes

Don’t know what the POLST is? Learn more here

12 Responses to “California POLST Form Updated”

  1. Can a resident ( with sane mind) give Power of Atty for healthcare to the Administrator or a caregiver if client does not have family or friends?

  2. Hello Brenda. That arrangement would create a clear conflict of interest and could possibly be construed as financial exploitation. Most providers have policies against it.

  3. If I already have a durable power of attorney for health care, do I need POLST as well? (I have a 91 year old parent with alzheimers.)

  4. Hello Eloise. You are not required to have a POLST for your parent, but it is recommended as a good way of ensuring his/her wishes are followed.

  5. had to call 911 on a resident having chest pains. when the paramedics arrived they asked for the POLST since she’s DNR/DNI. they refused to take a duplicate copy. they said they only take the original.

  6. Hello Brenda. According to the Coalition for Compassionate Care–the organization that manages the POLST program in California–a copy or fax of the POLST is acceptable. It is a good idea to keep your own copy in case it is not returned with a resident after going to the hospital/ER.

  7. My mother had a heart attack in a shopping mall. CPR was done too late to truly save her but did revive her enough to call her “alive.” She passed away after 3 days in a coma attached to a ventilator. A POLST would not have helped in her situation.

    I am suggesting a solution: A tattoo in some inconspicuous place (behind the right ear?) with some universal code like “DNR, POLST in effect.” If you changed your mind, you could always tattoo a line through it. It would require legislation, I suppose.

  8. Can i change my POLST without goung to my MD?

  9. Does the POLST FORM need to be redone annually? Does it expire from the original date filled out?

  10. Hello Pamela. No, the POLST does not expire.

  11. Does the POLST needs to be update when change in physician?

  12. Great question, Patricia. No, it does not have to be updated. However, it is recommended to review the POLST: when the resident is transferred from one medical or residential setting to another; when there is a significant change in the person’s health status, or there is a new diagnosis; and when the resident’s treatment preferences change.

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